Enterprise Rental Cars just called on behalf of Erie and asked where I’d like to pick up my rental.
I’M CRAZY IMPRESSED ! THANK YOU !!!
Melissa Taylor of Travelbugs
Severe U.S. thunderstorms, including tornado events, cost $14.9 billion in insured losses and $27.7 billion in economic losses in 2012, according to Munich Re. The U.S. experiences more tornadoes than any other country in the world, according to a 2013 report by Lloyd’s of London. (See Executive Summary, page 4 of Tornadoes a Rising Risk? for additional findings and statistics).]]>
The document went on the block at auction house Doyle New York
The insurance policy was written on behalf of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company Limited, better known as The White Star Line.
The document states that the steamer Titanic is “on risk” with Atlantic Mutual from March 30, 1912 until March 30, 1913. The Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, less than a month after the policy went into effect, with more than 1,500 dying in the North Atlantic.
Atlantic Mutual undertook $100,000 of the risk in the Titanic. The balance was covered by a syndicate of insurance companies led by the Prudential Insurance Company in London. Therefore, the risk for the full insured value of $5 million was spread among many firms.
Click on the document below for a close-up view
I’ve gotten this request a couple times so I thought I’d share them with you all. It may be a useful tool to explain when you have concerns about rate increases, etc. Obviously by their very nature these are impossible to predict so while the company does budget for these it is a very difficult challenge as you can imagine!
In 2012 Erie spent $466,000,000 on CAT’s (catastophe claims) alone. $366,000,000 was spent on Hurricane Sandy and $100,000,000 was spent on the Derecho in late June.
The Roanoke Branch spent nearly $6,000,000 on our 1,388 claims from the Derecho. We also spent $9.2M on hail claims from March. Yet another busy CAT year. This doesn’t include the 8/1/2012 “quiet” hail event which didn’t qualify as a CAT.
Just thought you all would like to know these CAT stats!!]]>
Standard homeowners and renters insurance provides coverage for burst pipes, wind driven rain and damage resulting from ice dams on your roof. Some policies cover sewer and drain backups, but many do not; however, you can purchase a sewer backup rider to a homeowners or renters policy for approximately an additional $50 each year, with the policy limits varying depending upon the insurer.
Check hoses leading to water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines and refrigerator icemakers annually. Replace those with cracks or leaks, and replace them all every five to seven years.
Check the seal and caulking around showers and tubs to make sure they are watertight.
to the washing machine while away on vacation, and never leave the house while the washer or dishwasher is running.
A damaged hose or a burst pipe can send water racing into your home. By knowing where this valve is located and how to shut off the main water supply, you can save yourself time and money.
This will protect against the increased pressure caused by freezing pipes and can help prevent your pipes from bursting.
Look closely for cracks and leaks and have the pipes repaired immediately.
Preventive maintenance will guard against water seepage.
Look for missing, damaged, and aging shingles.
Remove debris that may have accumulated in downspouts and rain gutters. Position downspouts so that they direct water away from the house.
Be sure sprinklers and irrigation systems are not damaging the walls and foundations of the house; turn off and drain outside faucets to protect against frozen pipes.
Gutter guards are the device used to protect the clogging of the roof gutter so that the water from the roof may flow easily and accumulation of water does not take place on the roof but away from the house.]]>
1. Your driving record.
The better your record, the lower your premium. If you have had accidents or serious traffic violations, it is likely you will pay more than if you have a clean driving record. You may also pay more if you are a new driver and have not been insured for a number of years.
2. How much you use your car.
The more miles you drive, the more chance for accidents. If you drive your car for work, or drive it a long distance to work, you will pay more. If you drive only occasionally—what some companies call “pleasure use”, you will pay less.
3. Where your car is parked and where you live.
Where you live and where the car is parked can affect the cost of your insurance. Generally, due to higher rates of vandalism, theft and accidents, urban drivers pay a higher auto insurance price than those in small towns or rural areas. Some areas are also prone to more lawsuits and higher medical care and car repair costs.
4. Your age.
In general, mature drivers have fewer accidents than less experienced drivers, particularly teenagers. So insurers generally charge more if teenagers or young people below age 25 drive your car.
5. Your gender.
As a group, women tend to get into fewer accidents, have fewer driver-under-the-influence accidents (DUIs) and most importantly less serious accidents than men. So, all other things being equal, women generally pay less for auto insurance than men. Of course, over time individual driving history for both men and women will have a greater impact on what they pay for auto insurance.
6. The car you drive.
Some cars cost more to insure than others. Variables include the likelihood of theft, the cost of the car, the cost of repairs, and the overall safety record of the car. Engine sizes, even among the same makes and models, can also impact insurance premiums. Cars with high quality safety equipment might qualify for premium discounts.
7. Your credit.
For many insurers, credit-based insurance scoring is one of the most important and statistically valid tools to predict the likelihood of a person filing a claim and the likely cost of that claim. Credit-based insurance scores are based on information like payment history, bankruptcies, collections, outstanding debt and length of credit history. For example, regular, on-time credit card and mortgage payments affect a score positively, while late payments affect a score negatively.
8. The type and amount of coverage.
In virtually every state, by law you must buy a minimum amount of liability insurance. Buying higher limits will cost more, but not proportionately more. So twice the minimum liability coverage will not double the premium. If you have a new or recent model of car, you likely will also buy comprehensive and collision coverage, which pays if you are responsible for damage to your car. Comprehensive and collision coverages are subject to deductibles; the higher the deductible, the lower your auto insurance premium.
One of the most tragic failings of ObamaCare is that it will make it harder for many of the most vulnerable citizens – patients with no option but Medicaid – to get care.
Medicaid is cumbersome, complex, and wasteful – already the worst health care program in the country. But rather than making changes to improve or modernize this program designed to finance care for the poor, the Obama administration is trying to convince states to add at least 16 million more people to Medicaid, including families making more than $30,000 a year.
That means the poorest and most vulnerable patients enrolled today will be competing with millions of new Medicaid patients for appointments to see a limited number of physicians. Those who have the greatest need and nowhere else to go are likely to have the hardest time getting care.
In its ruling in June, the Supreme Court made it optional for states to expand Medicaid to cover new enrollees. Even with generous federal funding, several states have said flatly they cannot afford the expansion, which would cost states at least $118 billion through 2023.
The moves under discussion could increase by billions of dollars the total amount industrywide that insurers including American International Group Inc., MetLife Inc. and others must hold to protect policyholders, estimate some analysts.
The changes could be implemented later this year by the National Association of InsuranceCommissioners, an organization of state officials that sets solvency standards. The shift, currently under study by an NAIC task force, would make it costlier for insurers to hold certain bonds backed by subprime mortgages and other risky home loans.
Such a change could cool demand from insurers for the once-toxic securities that lost value when the housing bubble burst, but that lately have become some of the hottest assets in the credit markets. Strong investor demand for those securities recently helped the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to profitably sell two large portfolios of subprime and other mortgage bonds it acquired in the 2008 bailout of AIG.
Many insurers “are looking for ways to enhance yield” and mortgage-bond yields are very attractive relative to other assets, says John Melvin, global head of insurance fixed income portfolio management at Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
In 2011, insurers invested over $26 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities that aren’t guaranteed by government agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to data provider SNL Financial. AIG has spent at least $7 billion this year buying more beaten-down mortgage securities. Such bonds made up roughly 3% of insurers’ total investments as of Dec. 31, according to NAIC data.
That is down from 7% in 2008, because many bonds have paid off or defaulted since the downturn.
Insurance-company executives say they make purchases selectively, and the appeal of the mortgage bonds is their high yield in today’s low interest-rate environment, discounted prices and potential for gains in a housing recovery.
The changes under consideration would involve modifications to an approach adopted by regulators in late 2009. Back then, state insurance departments stopped using credit ratings from the likes of Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s as the basis for determining how much capital insurers should hold against non-agency mortgage bonds, after scores of ratings were downgraded and proved inaccurate.
Instead, regulators hired a unit of money-management giant Pacific Investment Management Co., or Pimco, to size up the risk of thousands of residential mortgage bonds. Regulators also adopted a methodology that rewards insurers that value their mortgage-bond holdings at prices well below face value. The approach has resulted in significantly lower capital requirements for many securities.
Regulators maintain that the current capital system has worked well for the bulk of mortgage securities held by insurers. “While there are bonds that don’t do so well, the industrywide profile is pretty good,” said Therese Vaughan, chief executive of the NAIC.
They also say they have no intention of reverting to the old ratings model for mortgage securities. Instead, the task force is planning to propose to regulators that Pimco use a “conservative bias” in its risk analysis, meaning the firm would factor in a higher likelihood of a severe economic downturn when it estimates potential losses for bonds held by insurers, Kevin Fry, an Illinois regulator, said on a June 26 call with other members of a NAIC task force that handles securities-valuation issues.
The shift likely would increase the amount of capital for bonds that are more exposed to losses. The task force plans to put its proposal out for industry and public comment this fall. After those are considered, regulators will vote on the plan.
Insurers paid an average of 77 cents on the dollar for residential mortgage bonds last year, according to data from the NAIC. Buyers are hoping a bond bought at that price will return 80 cents, though in a bearish scenario it might deliver 50 cents, Mr. Fry said on the June call.
At the end of 2011, the insurance industry held $3.2 billion in capital to back a total of $123.2 billion in residential mortgage bonds, according to NAIC data. If the old credit ratings-based system were in place, insurers would have needed $18.3 billion in capital for those same bonds.
A Pimco spokesman says the firm’s sole role is “to provide valuations for the NAIC” and that it wasn’t involved in creating the methodology that regulators use for determining capital requirements. Insurance regulators set the economic-scenario assumptions that Pimco uses for its analysis.
Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling on the law, some say it’s challenging to provide detailed advice to clients because the federal government has yet to release much of its anticipated regulations on how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will look in practice.
“We are still lacking so much guidance and there is still so much uncertainty about how the law will get implemented on a state-by-state basis,” says Brian Gillette, chief operating officer of Group Benefits, Ltd. in Urbandale, Iowa.
One of the most-pressing matters is helping employers to decide whether or not to continue offering insurance to workers in 2014, when individuals and small companies are expected to be able to purchase coverage through state or federal exchanges.
The exchanges are intended to be shopping centers for health insurance, but how they will actually operate remains to be seen. It is unclear what role—if any—agents will have to advise buyers in the exchanges.
States have until Jan. 1, 2013 to get their exchange certified by the Department of Health and Human Services—and if they don’t, the federal government will intervene. Most states have yet to establish an exchange.
Agents say they’re also under a tight schedule to guide clients, who will likely make decisions about their 2014 benefits next year, if not sooner.
“We’re just 18 months from 2014,” says Becky Parker, health reform manager at MHBT Inc., based in Dallas. “We can’t wait any more time to start putting these long-range [company benefits] plans into place.”
The decision of whether or not to keep benefits has financial and cultural implications for a company, she says. Employers need to consider a range of potential effects, such as those on company turnover, morale, workers compensation coverage and payroll taxes.
“They really need to be having the hard conversations internally with their management about whether they’re going to maintain coverage,” Parker adds.
Gillette says he’s surprised that some of his large commercial clients are considering dropping coverage in 2014 and instead giving a pay raise to employees, who could shop for insurance in an exchange. Employers with 50 or more full-time workers would be subject to an annual federal penalty, if they don’t offer coverage and at least one employee is eligible for a tax credit subsidy under the law’s employer mandate.
“One of the questions we’re actually getting is, ‘Help me do the math on how much I’ll have to pay on a penalty versus what I’m paying today just to have coverage,’” he adds.
Gillette also notes there are “a lot of nuances in the law” and his firm would prefer to have better federal guidance to make a precise calculation for clients.
Parker also says there are many “what-if scenarios” that need to be addressed in federal regulations.
Under the law, the waiting period for new employees to become eligible for benefits cannot exceed 90 days. While “that sounds so cut and dry,” she notes there are questions that need to be answered.
“What if somebody was working for you on a temporary basis, does that count as [part of] their 90 days?” she asks.
As agents wait for guidance to such situations, they say they’re providing as much information as they can to clients, noting that they’ll deliver more detailed direction after they thoroughly analyze the regulations when they’re released.
“We would rather be right than first,” Gillette says. “We want to be able to provide solid guidance.”
In addition, Bill Daly, vice president of employee benefit plans at Allen & Stults Co., says it helps to provide a personal touch when helping clients understand their coverage. It’s common for him to receive phone calls from employees of clients, some of which look to the Hightstown, N.J., firm as their human relations resource.
“We’re using the same system that they’re using,” he says, noting that clients view the firm’s agents as both insurance professionals and consumers. “It’s a great tool to be able to tell my family’s stories of claims and listen to their family’s stories of claims, and to be able to discuss how things work. I think that adds a lot of assistance to the customers and to the clients when you have the time to sit down for 20 minutes and say, ‘This is what we have and this is what we know and these are the uncertainties.’”
Even after the court’s ruling, clients are asking if the law will change or be repealed, depending on the outcome of this year’s elections.
“There’s a possibility,” he says. “But we have to follow the rules and regulations that we have right now.”
Victoria Goff (email@example.com) is IA online editor.
IN&V first caught up with Daly, Gillette and Parker in April before the Supreme Court issued its decision to uphold nearly all of the health care law. Read that story to find out other ways they’re helping clients.]]>